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New ministers could use handbook to understand their roles, Savikataaq recommends

Former premier Joe Savikataaq thinks the Government of Nunavut’s new ministers could benefit from reading a handbook telling them how to do their job.
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“We have a lot of new members that are here that aren’t familiar with the procedures and what the minister’s roles are, what their limitations are, and what their duties are,” said Arviat South MLA Joe Savikataaq on March 17. Trevor Wright/NNSL photo

Former premier Joe Savikataaq thinks the Government of Nunavut’s new ministers could benefit from reading a handbook telling them how to do their job.

Savikataaq made the recommendation in the Legislative Assembly on March 17.

“We have a lot of new members that are here that aren’t familiar with the procedures and what the minister’s roles are, what their limitations are, and what their duties are,” he said, citing a potential conflict of interest raised last week relating to the appointment of an acting deputy minister from within the same household as a minister — a matter that Premier P.J. Akeeagok said he would refer to the integrity commissioner for review.

“I would like to ask the acting premier if the premier would table the latest version of the Ministerial Administration Procedure Manual, what the ministers are guided by,” said Savikataaq, the MLA representing Arviat South.

Acting Premier Pamela Gross, filling in for Akeeagok while he self-isolates due to possible exposure to Covid-19, responded rather firmly: “No, that will not be happening.”

Savikataaq admitted that her response was not what he was expecting. He asked her to explain why she wouldn’t comply.

Gross, a new MLA and minister herself, said the manual in question isn’t for public consumption, it’s for internal use by the government.

Savikataaq countered that every regular MLA in the last assembly was given a copy of the manual. He asked Gross to do the same.

She responded, “The previous government didn’t table the document, but we will look into it.”





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